St. Albertans earn more than provincial average

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The most recent census shows that St. Albert is full of high earners.

Census data released last week by Statistics Canada ranked St. Albert as the municipality with the 16th highest income in the country.

In 2015, St. Albertans had a median household total income of $119,905, which is a 14 per cent increase from 2005 when the median income was $105,106.

St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse said that with the population growing above 60,000 residents which provides a larger sample size, he expected to see the numbers normalize with the rest of the province.

The province had a median household income of $93, 835 which sat above the rest of Canada that clocked in at $70, 336. Edmonton finished with a median income of $87, 225.

Sturgeon County came in one spot above St. Albert with an average median household income of $121,984 and Morinville fell below St. Albert with $110,896.

Crouse said that the close proximity to Edmonton allows for St. Albert to maintain such high overall incomes.

“It’s communing distance to Edmonton so you end up with a fairly strong white-collar community,” Crouse said.

Although he was pleased to see St. Albert do so well, Crouse said that the high incomes may point to a lack of housing diversity in the city.

“More diversity of housing yields more of a diversity of income and that means you have a more diverse population and to me that’s a good thing. It’s nice to be able to say you have top earners in your community but it probably means you are not diverse enough as a community,” Crouse said.

St. Albert has fewer smaller homes, starter homes and condos for residents to choose from in the community, according to Crouse.

Crouse said that the Lakeview District, formerly known as the Employment Lands, will help attract blue-collar jobs to the community and those employees will help bring diversity to St. Albert.

“A more diverse job market will give you more diverse residents and those diverse residents demand more diverse housing stock,” Crouse said.

The numbers are based off of the 2015 tax returns, which is before the recession hit the province. Crouse said that he doesn’t expect the numbers to have changed too much since then because St. Albert has been fairly insulated since the economic downturn.

The next round of census data will be released on Oct. 25 when it will focus on immigration and ethnocultural diversity, housing and Aboriginal peoples.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.